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After Further Review: Packers vs. Jets

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After Further Review: Packers vs. Jets

Ross will provide a few observations every Monday afternoon following a Packers game based on a few viewings of the condensed version of the game on NFL GamePass.  While this might not be the All-22 camera deep dive that might be more "educational", it should provide a conversation point for the rest of the week.

Man that was fun.

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Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (55) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ryan B Dub's picture

I’m glad I watched it. As much as I hope the Packers play out some developmental snaps to end this season. I hope for a great draft, and hiring/firing process with a magical yard sale. I’d like to see Clay retained. It’s possoble Graham, and Perry get to stay because the hit of cutting them would be too great. Green Bay needs to improve, and get healthy. Obviously. Still, this NFL, needs continuity in the rules. They need to invest in quality officials. I’m not sure I’ve seen a worse season in the NFL than this year. And I saw the interception thrown for a touchdown. I saw Atlanta beat Green Bay with a no call face mask on Rogers. When will the percentages of horrible calls that truly effect the game diminish? When is the rule book finally tailored for the officials to be able to apply them? I think the CFL allows for all calls to be reviewable. When are we going to have a microchip in the ball? When can GPS be used by teams in actual games? I’m going to be happy to see this regular season end. I’ll also be happy to see the Vikings, and the Bears lose. Especially the Vikings. Go Pack Go! Team ball, for four quarters. Balanced, and ready for everything that is this game.

Gort's picture

So, Graham is a high priced decoy.

Old School's picture

Actually, he's been in the Top Ten among TEs this year in catches, yards, and average.

HankScorpio's picture

Can someone kick the broken record? It's stuck in the same place for about two weeks now.

Old School's picture

Sorry that facts annoy you.

HankScorpio's picture

Spare me the sanctimony. It's more that repetition of the same facts without engaging in follow up discussion bores me.

I have discussed why I find those particular facts irrelevant on several previous occasions---because Graham is slow, plays small for his size and can't block worth a lick. And that I view his only value as a pass catcher so I find comparing him to all pass catchers is a more realistic assessment of his value. You ignore the attempts at further discussion and go into Polly the Parrot mode "Bwak,...Jimmy Graham is a top 10 TE...Bwak". Can I get you a cracker?

Old School's picture

In your opinion. In mine, you’re kind of a blowhard.

Old School's picture

Sorry that facts annoy you.

HankScorpio's picture

BTW.. at least get your misleading facts correct. Graham is 12 in yd/game among TE and 15 in yd/catch among TEs with 20 or more catches.

Old School's picture

I’ll spare the sanctimony if you spare the insults. And my facts are correct.....he has been in the Top Ten all year. Finally, with a broken hand, he dropped down.....it doesn’t change the fact that he’s clearly been above average by any objective measure.

How does this slow, small-playing guy manage that?

HankScorpio's picture

"I’ll spare the sanctimony if you spare the insults. "

FYI..."Sorry that facts annoy you." is often taken as an insult.

"And my facts are correct.....he has been in the Top Ten all year. Finally, with a broken hand, he dropped down.....it doesn’t change the fact that he’s clearly been above average by any objective measure.""

You facts are not correct or complete. Graham is not a top 10 TE in average yard/catch or yards/game. He's 28th in catch % among qualified TEs. He's tied for 29th with 13 others in TDs among TEs. I guess those stats don't say what you think they say.

Blocking is definitely more of a subjective thing. But there are not many that say he's any good at it. That drags his value down a little bit more.

To summarize, he was not worth what they paid for 2018 ($13.5 mil) and he's not worth the $9 mil he's due for 2019. Paying him more is throwing good money after bad.

Old School's picture

Can you read? All season long he has been in the topten. Since the brokenhand, he's fallen out.

Whether he's worth his money is a matter of opinion. I think that creating $7.5million in dead money just to replace a guy who is above average at his position is penny wise and pound foolish, especially when we aren't right against the cap.

You're entitled to your opinion, but I don't share it. I'd bet that Graham will be our starter next year because the professionals who get paid big money to make these decisions will agree with me, and not with you.

Catch percentage? Seriously? That's as important as catches, yards, and average? Seriously? And in those categories, he was top ten among TEs until he broke his hand

HankScorpio's picture

" I think that creating $7.5million in dead money just to replace a guy who is above average at his position is penny wise and pound foolish, especially when we aren't right against the cap."

That dead money was already created. It was created the minute they gave Graham his signing bonus. Keep him or not, they are getting that cap charge....either $3.67 in each of 2019 and 2020 or all of it in 2019. That's all water under the bridge. Nothing can be done to change it. They can only manage when it hits the books.

The only thing they will be creating in the future is another $9 mil in new cap charges. If they decide not to throw away another $9 mil on Graham and designate him a post June 1 cut, nothing will change in terms of accounting for that signing bonus. Since $3.67 mil is not a big hit, it makes sense to me that they take the entire amount in 2019.

The rest of your point was parroting "Jimmy Graham is a top 10 TE" in other words. I don't see the need to rehash why I think that is wrong. Except to say that measuring the number of incompletions when he was targeted is an important objective measure of his effectiveness. An objective measure that paints Graham in the light i see him, not the light you see him. I'm not surprised you want to ignore it, just like I'm not surprised you completely ignore his sub-standard blocking.

Old School's picture

The substandard future HOFer.

Ross Uglem disagrees with you, so do I, and so does the Packer front office, apparently.I

But I guess you just know more than us.

Old School's picture

And I know you have trouble understanding Hank, so this isn't for you but for everybody else.

With one game remaining, Graham is 9th in receptions, tied for 7th in yards, and 10th in average among all TEs. His blocking has hurt us so badly that we're 2nd in yards per rush.

Jimmy Graham will be our starting TE in 2019.

HankScorpio's picture

Does Ross Uglem and the Packers organization know you're speaking for them?

Gort's picture

Is there an "old school" echo here?

Maybe, but he has not been a "difference maker".
Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Old School's picture

Well, there’s certainly an echo chamber.

egbertsouse's picture

You can trot out all the meaningless stats the analytics nerds can concoct, my eyes tell me he’s over the hill.

Old School's picture

Have your eyes made you much money from football? I mean, the professionals in the league, and the ones on the Packers, don’t appear to have your vision. Should I believe you instead of them?

Jimmy Graham will be our starting TE next year. And he’ll be better than average again. Count on it....the organization is.

HankScorpio's picture

It certainly remains to be seen whether Graham will be job hunting this March or not. If Gute throws another $9 mil down that rabbit hole, it will be compounding a previous mistake. And I'll start to have some doubts about him that don't really exist now. Everyone makes mistakes. Good GMs recognize them quickly and correct them.

Gort's picture

I did a quick review of Andrew Herman's "grading" articles. I could only find articles for 11 games this year. Graham's best grade was +0.8, his worst was -0.9 and the combined total of the 11 scores was 0.0.

In 2018 Jimmy Graham has not had an impact that is commensurate with his paycheck. If he doesn't improve, then he should not be starting in 2019.

EDIT - I went back and reviewed some arguments from Old School. Graham's worst score, -0.9, came in week 1, well before his hand injury. He didn't exactly have a top ten game in his first as a Packer.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Graham himself believes he is a WR, not a TE. The evidence is that he once filed a grievance making that claim. So when statistics are cited for Graham, arguably they should be using WR data, not TE data. The flip side is that $10M for a WR is good money, but not top money. The whole issue is complicated by the fact that Graham does play in line perhaps a quarter of the time, so there is a mixing going on.

Guam's picture

I think Patrick, Bell and Sprigs need to find new homes. I would retain McCray as a backup and look for a veteran starting RG in free agency and lots of new backups in the draft. The O-line needs to be retooled and Lane Taylor needs some young competition at the LG spot.

Swisch's picture

With the point about Jamaal Williams improving his vision comes the thought about how difficult it is to evaluate young guys and who is likely to improve.
With so many young guys on the team, it's hard to know who to keep and who to let go. Especially in a season when the Packers seemed largely in disarray, it's hard to tell which guys might thrive with a more functional team.
Going into the 1959 season, the first for Lombardi, it seemed that Bart Starr, Paul Hornung and Ray Nitschke were all are on the verge of exiting the NFL. All three are in the hall of fame.
So what do we do with a J'mon Moore or Josh Jackson? Those kind of decisions are as important as the draft and free agency.
That's a big reason why our next head coach in 2019, now sixty years after Lombardi came to us as an unknown, is so important.
It's not only schemes and strategy, but connecting with players and getting the most out of them. Lombardi could be over-the-top in his loudness, but the players knew that ultimately he cared about them as persons.
Dick Schaap called the Lombardi Packers the greatest team of all time -- not the most talented team, nor necessarily the most successful team, but the team that got the most from its individual players in terms of team performance.
I like the Packer way of cultivating our own players, and trying to keep them. That doesn't mean we can't go for free agents in some cases, but that we're in the process of building something solid, where players matter as people.
Anyway, this old-timer does tend to ramble -- born in 1962, so I missed the Lombardi years except as glorious sports history.
We can learn from the past, while still updating. To conclude, it fascinates me to think about who will be on the Packers to lead them to the Super Bowl in 2020. It's mostly about players as people.

baldski's picture

Hey Old Timer, I was born in 1940 and remember the Lombardi years with pride. Nitschke was drafted out of Illinois as a fullback and when he saw Jim Taylor run he knew he would never beat him out of his job. The switch to Linebacker was to show how a team can get the best out of a player and coach. Love both of these guys.

Swisch's picture

Glad to meet you, baldski, and I'm glad to have you (and any other old-timers) to correct me if my memory fails. I wish I would've been there for the Lombardi Era.
My understanding is that Nitschke was thought to be a little too crazy even for the game of football. Hornung was thought to be too discouraged and disinterested and distracted. Starr was thought to be too unassertive to lead, and with too weak of an arm.
It's been awhile, but I liked John Eisenberg's book about Lombardi's first season. A variety of personalities from a diversity of backgrounds came together to start something legendary. It's amazing the ways we can influence each other for the good, and support each other for greatness. It all began with Lombardi, an epic story that transcends sports.
To this day, no team has won five championships in seven years, nor quite captured the Packers' mystique for excellence and class and heart. We can't live in the past, but it seems wise to conserve the best of it for our benefit today.
Merry Christmas, baldski, and to all Packers fans young and old.

BoCallahan's picture

Baldski & Swisch, What I remember about the 60’s is my dad screaming at the TV & jumping up & down every weekend. I didn’t understand the game but I was hooked from birth. I guess that comes with being born in Green Bay. The dry spell that we went through was HARD. I wouldn’t wish that on any fan. As a young adult, I made a delivery to Nitschke’s house. He brought me in & gave me a tour of his place. He was making lunch & demanded that I stay. I had to go but he wouldn’t hear of it. He told me that he would speak to my boss, then he yelled, “Now sit down & eat!” We had Kraft macaroni & cheese with Coke. I remember 2 things about the tour of the house: 1) He had a giant painting of himself in his uniform over the mantle. He loved it. He really relished his playing years with the Pack. 2) I remember his basement. It was FULL of golf clubs. Companies were constantly sending him sets to use in the next tourney he was playing. He said that the newest Pings were being sent. He gave me a putter & invited me back anytime. It was one of the best lunches I ever had!

PatrickGB's picture

Dang Bo, you are a lucky guy. I am happy for your memories.

Swisch's picture

Wow! What a great story about Ray Nitschke. Thanks, Bo.
I guess Nitschke was wild even in practice; but off the field he could look like a college professor -- as when he appeared in 1962 in the television program, "What's My Line?"
One thing I remember about my late Dad is that he told me that the Lombardi Packers had trouble with the newly formed Vikings and their young and elusive quarterback, Fran Tarkenton.
Unfortunately, Tarkenton returned to Vikings in the 1970s -- when I first became a fan -- to torment us for several seasons. I would guess most Packers fans from those years have an intense hatred for the Vikings, as well as the Cowboys.
My Dad would've been 83 this month. Fortunately, Paul Hornung is still alive, and turned 83 in the last week. God bless him, and all of the old Packers. By the way, this is my fifth Christmas in Idaho, the land of Jerry Kramer the new Hall-of-Famer.
I really can't get enough of the Lombardi teams. (I wonder what other fans think of Maraniss' biography of Lombardi, which I haven't read yet). I think even my Dad wondered that my love of the Packers far exceeded his own rooting interest, even though I missed the Lombardi Era. Plus, we moved out-of-state when I was three, though we would visit relatives in Milwaukee and Cedarburg. Perhaps it was somehow the mystique and magnificence of those times that helped me endure the '70s and '80s.

old dog's picture

Swisch, I was born in '36 and had completed by education at sandflea Univ.
at Bufort by the sea. My family had moved to Milwaukee and I became a Packers fan. Great days followed by not so great days; then the cycle began to repeat itself. It has been a great time.

The one constant, in my opinion, has been a demand for excellence on the part of the fan and the management. When either strayed, the Packers struggled. When statistics are used to define people it is good to remember that they usually define only one dimension of that person.

But that doesn't mean I like the discussion any less.

Swisch's picture

I'm glad for your note, old dog.
It's amazing how a sports team has the potential for bringing people together and helping to build a sense of community.
To meet a loyal Packers fan even on the high seas is to have an instant bond. At home, it gives people something to talk about, something to share, and something to root for together.
Fortunately, we Packers fans have one of the most historic and successful and special teams in all of professional sports.
And, as you indicated, it's the players and coaches we remember, the people. That stats are important, and fun for discussion, but they pale in significance to the personalities.
In these days, we can't keep every player for the length of their careers. Still, I really like the idea of loyalty to players. If they are still giving it their all, and contributing to the team at a reasonable salary, I hope we try to keep them as long as possible.
Sometimes a savvy veteran is adding to the team in ways that can't be measured by statistics.
These are tough calls at times, but it seems that the players will realize if they are looked upon by management and the fans as more than just jerseys.
The extra edge that makes for champions comes from something deeper than the box score. That legendary last drive in the Ice Bowl was the culmination of nine years of Lombardi teamwork. It's a symbol of all the intangibles that made for an era of greatness.
We fans have a role in lifting up players. After all, we're only human; and we need each other.
(Again, please excuse the rambling.)

Community Guy's picture

the same people that typically use emotional intelligence to shout that this victory over the jets was a great day in Packer history will soon be clamoring for Gute to trade draft picks away to move up in the first round to get the guy they want.

Dash Riprock's picture

So so true Community Guy. Merry Christmas.

The Riprocks

Packers0808's picture

There will people clamoring to get rid of Gute even!

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

I not only would be surprised if the Pack moved up in the top half of the first round with their first pick, but I'd be upset. Want a top OLB/edge rusher and than a OT. In that order. They cannot afford to trade away draft choices to move up.

Call me an optimist but I am fairly confidant Madison comes back strengthening the RG spot. Plus, I feel confidant the Pack will pick up a quality UFA OL this offseason. Than the Pack just needs a OT with their 2nd first round selection.

Old School's picture

If we win our last game it looks like we’ll be about #14, same as last year. Maybe Gute can trade down again. We do need an OT. I have no idea about Madison.

I think we should look into replacing Kizer and getting Rodgers successor on the roster. If Rodgers gets hurt, he becomes our most important player.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If we win our last game, the best we can do is 14th, but we could slide down to 16th. Miami would have to lose to Buffalo and Washington would have to lose to Philly. If we win, picking 15th seems most likely to me, but everyone is free to forecast the outcomes of those games.

If we lose, we theoretically could get to 10th, but that requires:

Atlanta to beat TB (plausible);
Carolina to beat NO (implausible)
Denver to beat LAR (implausible)
Cincy to beat Pitts (possible I suppose).

If we lose, we probably pick 13th, maybe 12th. I suppose NO and LAR might rest some starters: I think Chicago has a chance to gain the 2nd bye IIRC.

HankScorpio's picture

I believe NO has clinched the top seed but Sean Payton implied (strongly) that he was not inclined to rest his top players. The Rams do indeed face a challenge from the Bears for the 2nd seed, meaning LAR will probably play their starters. However, that would be against SF, not Denver. LAC gets Denver.

Personally, I agree your guess at the week 17 outcomes. A win probably means picking 15. A loss means 13.

Denver losing to Oakland on Monday was a blow to the Packers. I still hate Denver from 1997.

PatrickGB's picture

BPA is what I say. A lot of teams screw up in the draft (including ours). Even Rodgers fell to the end of the draft order.

4zone's picture

Except at possibly QB, I would agree. We don't have a position where an upgrade would hurt us.

4zone's picture

Dropping Perry clears cap space, so stop the bleeding now.

Re-sign Matthews at around vet minimum.

Cobb is hard, he has value when he plays but plays so infrequently. I think we have enough without him. Tough call though. If we do re-sign, again, not much more than vet minimum. And if e get a high end receiver in the draft, he would be expendable.

Wonder if Sorry asks the Raiders to cut him this off season so he could resign with Packers to retire a Packer.

MarkinMadison's picture

Dead cap money on Perry for 2019 is $11M if you drop him. So ask yourself, would you pay $3.6M to have Nick Perry on your roster next year, because that is the difference between keeping him and dumping him. I think he's worth that much. 2020 could be a very different story. Of course, the only good year he ever had was when he knew he was playing for his career, so he will probably be a stud in 2019.

HankScorpio's picture

Perry's actual cash due in 2019 is $11 mil. They can recoup that entire amount on the 2019 cap if they cut him with a June 1 designation.

I've never considered asking him to take a pay cut and how far down he'd go before I'd consider keeping him. I'm not sure $3.6 mil is low enough. That contract was a mistake from the minute it was signed. Now that they finally can move on, I think they should.

MarkinMadison's picture

There's a couple of complications there. First, cutting him after June 1 reduces the current year dead cap number from $11M to $3.7M, but if I remember correctly what happens is the remaining portion of the original signing bonus is just charged against your cap the following year. Second, Perry is due a large roster bonus on the third day of the next NFL year. $5.4M to be exact. So that would be wasted cash, and, I presume, would also count against the cap. Any way you slice this up, you are still talking about a lot of dead money. So the question still remains: Are you better off with this guy on your roster, or playing for someone else while taking your money? The Packers had no hesitation when it came to showing some bad apples the door this year, but neither of those guys came with a big dead money hit.

HankScorpio's picture

Mark,

There is a fairly new clause in the CBA that allows a team to cut a guy at any time after the start of the league year while they designate him a post June 1 cut for cap purposes. Using that cap management tool, they would not be on the hook for Perry's roster bonus and not have to pay him another dime. The $7.4 mil in question would be help in "escrow" until June 2, when it would be added back to the 2019 cap and applied to the 2020 cap. TGR can probably give a better explanation of the June 1 designation clause. But that is what I have taken from his previous explanations of it.

I definitely agree that dead money is bad. But that is a mistake that was made at the time of signing and revealed over time. You fix mistakes by minimizing their impact and moving on as best you can. Until now, the magnitude of the original mistake dictated there was little choice but to throw more good money after that bad money and compound the original mistake. That's not the case anymore. This year is the tipping point. I'll be surprised if they compound that original mistake any more.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I think you both got it right, unless Mark thinks GB has to pay the $4.8M roster bonus. If GB cuts Perry by March 14 with or without a June 1 designation, GB won't have to make that payment. With a June 1 designation, the money saved by cutting Perry isn't "spendable" on FAs until June 2.

Otherwise, yes, GB has to take an $11.1M dead money hit either all in 2019 or $3.7M in 2019 with $7.4M dead in 2020 if they cut Perry. Really that only matters to teams that have small available amounts of cap space and are trying to win right away. That describes GB, I think. With rollover, cap space is kind of a rolling amount anyway between any two consecutive years. In other words, whether to use the June 1 designation is really answered by how much Gute wants to spend on FAs in 2019. Take all of the cap hit now if $45M (roughly) in cap space will suffice, but if that's not enough, use the June 1 designation.

The real issue in my mind is whether to cut Perry (the numbers change but one could insert Graham's name here easily). If GB doesn't cut Perry, GB will pay Perry between $10.4M and $11M in new money for 2019. I think Perry when healthy is worth that much. I don't think he was at all healthy in 2018 (he didn't seem able to push off on his ankle all season and that negated his bull rush). If he is healthy for half a season, yes he will have a negative rather than surplus value, but the drop off to Gilbert looks immense. Gilbert might have a small surplus value because his salary is so small, but his value is tiny compared to what Perry might provide fully healthy, and it is still small compared to a Perry who is healthy for 9 or 12 games.

Old School's picture

Agreed. We're not going to cut Perry or Graham just so we can have a bunch of dead money AND another roster hole to fill. Both of these deals have outs after the 2019 season! They'll be our starters until then.

Guy's picture

I can't say that I can analyze O-Line play, but McCarren seems very enamored of Lucas Patrick's play which certainly conflicts with the views here...

Doug Niemczynski's picture

J. Graham has 600 + yards and 2 TDs
J. Nelson has 600 + yards and 3 TDs

We didn't gain anything.

Guy's picture

I can't say that I can analyze O-Line play, but McCarren seems very enamored of Lucas Patrick's play which certainly conflicts with the views here...

MarkinMadison's picture

This is my problem with the whole OL situation. We know it is not good enough, but different guys have flashed at different times. Even Spriggs has had a halfway decent game against the Jets. So what do you do with that? Which guys are ready to turn the corner? And to what, being "serviceable" or really being quality starters? Personally, I'd like to see a top-tier guard prospect taken in the second round this year; a beast in the weight room with a (relatively) clean injury history. I think you put in a bull at RG and it will make the RT's job quite a bit easier. RG has been a revolving door lately.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I wouldn't take anything from the last 2 games. The Jets are awful and so are the Lions. Start thinking like Champions and do not compare our play to lower class teams.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Jason Spriggs is HORRIBLE. Cut him, please.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Spend money on a Great player and not WASHED UP bargain basement veterans....They suck

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